KANSAS CITY, MO. - For decades, factory farms have used antibiotics even in healthy animals to promote faster growth and prevent diseases that could sicken livestock held in confined quarters.
The benefit: cheaper, more plentiful meat for consumers.
But a firestorm has erupted over a federal proposal recommending antibiotics only when animals are actually sick.
Medical and public health experts in recent years say overuse and misuse of antibiotics pose a serious public health threat by creating new strains of bacteria that are difficult to treat - both in animals and humans.
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